English: The Entrance of Whitehouse Hotel at New York City, NY, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Airbnb Rentals No Longer Legal In New York City
The company Airbnb, which is short for AirBed & Breakfast made the news recently when a judge in New York City declared that the company was violating NYC rental laws and was promoting illegal rentals. The company which was founded in 2008 offers a place for homeowners and renters to rent their home or room for a few days at a time to out of town guests. Although an extremely popular company in over 30,000 cities spanning over 190 countries the company came under fire on May 20th for being in violation of rental laws.
Nigel Warren from East Side Manhattan was going on a three-night trip. Before doing so he rented his room out for those three nights to someone on Airbnb. Although no issues arose regarding the renter; Warren returned from his trip to find that the city had fined his landlord. Fines and paperwork went back and forth until a ruling was made on May 20th by Judge Clive Morrick. Judge Morrick found Warren to be in violation of the hotel law and declared renting through Airbnb illegal. The hotel law in NYC indicates that a room or space cannot be rented out for any less than 29 days without the original occupant there as well. Ultimately this law exists not to hurt tenants, but to protect them from landlords buying buildings meant for residential purposes and operating them like hotels.
Airbnb did file a motion which would enable them to intervene in court proceeds and they plan on fighting the ruling. The company believes that New York City should amend its rental laws and allow current residents to do short-term rentals without them being illegal rentals. New York is not the only city that has taken exception to the sites practices, other cities; especially those who rely on tourist taxes have expressed disdain.
Brian Chesky defends the legality and safety of Airbnb